Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Israel prevents import of 700 types of goods into Gaza - mostly construction material

Israel closed the Kerem Shalom crossing today. It is stopping the transfer of 700 classes of goods, much of it related to the building sector. Israel's deliberate moves to hinder reconstruction are a form of collective punishment of Gaza's population.
Palestinian crossings official Raed Fattouh, who coordinates entry of goods between Israel and Gaza, said that Israeli authorities are prohibiting the passage of at least 700 goods into Gaza.

In a press statement Wednesday morning, Fattouh made clear that the Israeli Occupation Forces are preventing 50 per cent of Gaza imports to pass due to excuses that are unsubstantiated and unconvincing.

Fattouh pointed out that most of the prohibited material belongs to the building and construction sector, which increased the housing problem in the strip that had been piling up for four years. more

Goldstone denies he intends to call for retraction of Gaza war crimes report

Goldstone is not retracting after all, although this won't stop Israel from seeking to get it thrown out by the UN.
South African jurist Richard Goldstone said Tuesday that he did not plan to seek nullification of his highly critical UN report on Israel's 2008-2009 offensive in the Gaza Strip and asserted that claims to the contrary by Interior Minister Eli Yishai were false...

...In an interview with The Associated Press, Goldstone said that Yishai had called him on Monday to thank him for an op-ed piece published Friday in The Washington Post in which the judge wrote that new information had come to light that made him rethink his central conclusions.

Goldstone said, however, that he never discussed the report with Yishai in the telephone conversation. Israeli leaders have called for the report to be retracted since it was issued in 2009.

"There was absolutely no discussion about the Goldstone report on the call," the jurist said in a telephone interview from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

Goldstone said he thanked Yishai for calling and "stated that my concern was to work for truth, justice and human rights."

Goldstone did confirm that Yishai had invited him to visit Israel and that he had accepted but would be unable to travel there until July.

"I ended the conversation by expressing my love for Israel," Goldstone said, adding that Yishai spoke in Hebrew which was translated for the judge. more

Thousands turn out for funeral of Jewish-Palestinian director and activist Juliano Mer-Khamis

Mondoweiss has posted round-up of coverage of the funeral of popular Jewish-Arab theatre director Juliano Mer-Khamis, including the following from the Palestinian Popular Committees Against the Wall:
In memory of our beloved friend Juliano Mer-Khamis

Juliano Mer-Khamis embodied the uncompromising struggle for freedom and for dignity. With his brutal murder the Palestinian struggle has lost a brilliant charismatic and courageous fighter for justice and freedom. Both parts of his life's work were seamlessly joined. His art was inseparable from his political commitment. The dignity and humanity which his art sustained were just as important to Palestinian resilience -sumud as his explicitly political work. His life was tragically cut short but he nevertheless managed to live a life full with purpose and meaning. In his typical way he fully dedicated himself to realizing his principles and gave up the comfort of life in Haifa to move to Jenin.

The Freedom theater which Mer-Khamis founded enriched the lives of countless young participants who all loved Juliano and their audience. It demonstrated the resilience of Palestinians, who transcended the most difficult situations to create a lasting legacy of art and consciousness. The effect of the Freedom theater reached far beyond Jenin and even the West Bank. People throughout the world were inspired to support the work of the theater and Palestinian solidarity in general.

We offer his family our condolences and support. We will always remember and miss him. His legacy will continue to inspire us to struggle for dignity and liberation. We will follow Juliano's example in his work and in his spirit.

Gaza's only working crossing, Kerem Shalom, closed by Israel

The only crossing into Gaza was closed by Israel today.
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities closed Wednesday the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza, Palestinian officials said.

Israeli officials said the crossing will be closed for the day due to "security reasons", Palestinian crossings liaison official Raed Fattouh noted. more

Israeli airstrike on civilian targets injures four including pregnant woman

Air strikes on civilians in Gaza every day and not a word of condemnation from the UN security council, let alone a no-fly zone. Four injured today, including a pregnant woman, as war planes hit a factory.
Gaza Strip, (Pal Telegraph)- Four Palestinians including a pregnant woman were injured Wednesday morning as Israeli warplanes targeted the east part of Gaza Strip.

According to local sources, Israeli air strikes hit a plastic factory and agricultural land in Al-Tufaah suburb leaving great damage and wounding four citizens. more